Dissolving sandcastles

he said it hurts me too, yet
why am I the one always crying in front of you,
he said he cries in private, why
must I always be the one whose knees weaken and eyes glimmer
at your alter
I pray to you
and it’s not healthy,
weaning off you
your love is the most difficult substance to ease off of
teacherous lips, shh
just for a second,
I want to kiss you but it stings like poison nettle
prickles,
lingers, flickers but doesn’t extinguish,
burning, burning,
gets easier with time and distance, or so I keep repeating,
altered conversation, less affection,
this is good, this is painful,
those tender almonds peer into my oceans
I can’t contain the waves convulsing inside me,
I can’t keep building sandcastles without moats, around me
the grandiose structures keep dissolving,
he clasps my hand in his,
finger tips caressing my aching ligaments,
your pure feelings are tainted by my confusion
I think I love you but how can I be sure this is not another of my illusions,
to grasp onto you is to grasp onto the thing I can never hold onto,
we can’t hold onto ideas, it’s just that
sometimes we think we can —
when those ideas take form, a light beam projecting onto foreign flesh
we get excited and forget
what we see is what we feel,
our deepest desires manifest and we follow them like breadcrumbs leading to a fantastical house
but you are not home and I must learn to crawl out of your inferno
before our illusions swallow us whole,
I think I love you but
how can I be so sure that your sweetness isn’t tainted by loneliness,
I want to hold your hand when we walk along the promenade,
I want to link arms as we wander and discuss the stars
we’ve gone too far
merged our hearts
before we allowed our minds to entangle in a rapture of seeing beyond our own lenses
of wanting
life to be simpler than it ever could become
without the rapture of romance I finally see you
I’m starting to understand what you are, who you are becoming,
it took us more months than we’d like to admit to
scrub the sand from our eyes and blink into clarity,
disparate continents and tired thumbs
phone calls and text messages mask
the nuances,
can’t be technologically translated,
no tonal button that erases misinterpretation
you must say what you mean
or be done with it,
back in your arms
your laughter echoes as if it’s escaping shackles and chambers,
the curvature of your back to your butt makes me want to reach out and touch you
yet our separation separates our forms of expression
it hurts not to kiss you
but it would hurt more to reduce this bond we are reconfiguring
into a breath,
not now
but
maybe someday
I’ll feel your lips on mine and it’ll taste like honeydew and rosewater
like it did in the beginning

Sarajevo ricochet remembrance

You can still hear the echoes of screams emanating from the parks and buildings
Rattling the bridges,
Drilling through cement
Bullet holes and residual gun powder
Falling in the dust
Blood stains filled in with paint
Held as a reminder, kept as a signifier of the new found freedom of an independent state
To know unrest was no more than 25 years ago
A siege of three and a half years
Living in constant fear
The unknown interrupted with bullet shells
Bombs falling from the sky
Into civilian homes
Echoing through the fresh graves at a funeral
death becomes more death
and life is a constant question mark,
in the name of power and national identity, in the name of financial security,
civil unrest and vague border lines
It seems long ago and alien
Until
you see it,
Until
you meet those that crawled along the border line
into the mountainous forest
to fetch water and medical resources,
until
you speak to those who lived through this
who saw their family and friends laying in a pool of blood on the cement,
sniper bullets pinging off buildings like an arcade game,
bullets shooting out from fighter planes embedding into forgotten flesh
grenades breaking through the ground like man-made metiorites
this was a war on civilians,
a genocide against non-Serbs and “traitors” of a nationalistic military regime
to claim land that is united by peace rather than ethnicity,
to claim more than what is served
in pursuit of dominating
separates people from humanity
to laugh in the face of a deluded pursuit is how sarajevo survived
after 1,452 days of Serbian military besiegement